Ministers to seek payment break for tourism and hospitality sectors

They want payments to Revenue, banks, and local authorities to be postponed as a first step in supporting the sectors.

Ministers to seek payment break for tourism and hospitality sectors

Payment holidays for the tourism and hospitality sectors are being sought by ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin to help stabilise businesses until the coronavirus crisis eases.

They want payments to Revenue, banks, and local authorities to be postponed as a first step in supporting the sectors.

During their meeting with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe on Thursday, they looked for immediate measures to stabilise cash flow, liquidity, and working capital.

The sectors are already facing unprecedented challenges as a result of widespread cancellations.

“We must minimise business closures and job losses, and the best chance of achieving that is to minimise cash outflows from the businesses,” said Transport, Tourism, and Sport Minister Shane Ross.

Mr Ross said significant reductions in Vat, local rates, water charges, and other outgoings must be made implemented.

Mr Donohoe said he expects that the Government will announce several measures very soon.

Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said they want to meet acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as soon as he returns to Ireland to discuss the survival of the industry.

Mr Cummins said he understands that everything that was on the table during discussions with the two ministers between Mr Ross and Mr Donohoe will form part of a rescue plan for the business sectors.

“The impression that I got was that measures would be in place before next Monday,” he said.

Mr Cummins believes that Vat should go to 0% during the crisis, PRSI should be reduced for employers, and that local authorities should waive all charges.

He said the RAI will fully comply with the Covid-19 safety measures and has cancelled its two upcoming regional awards events in Munster and Connacht.

Taoiseach, Leo Mr Varadkar said that restaurants, cafes, and other businesses could stay open, but they should look at ways that they could implement the public health advice on social distancing.

Mr Cummins urged people to dine out at the weekend, saying:

We are open for business.

The Irish Hotels Federation expects the number of cancellations to increase in the coming weeks and has demanded immediate and decisive action from the Government to mitigate the impact on tourism businesses.

Payment holidays for the tourism and hospitality sectors are being sought by ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin to help stabilise businesses until the coronavirus crisis eases.

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